The estimated costs of climate change adaptation in developing countries greatly exceed available public financing and current adaptation action is fragmented and incremental at a time when transformational change is needed. Shifting adaptation practice to achieve transformational impacts and meet growing adaptation needs requires clear adaptation rationales that inform theories of change. A barrier to creating clear adaptation rationales is the absence of a broad shared foundational typology of adaptation benefits that captures locally-specific adaptation measures but provides enough structure to connect project priorities, actions, and outcomes.
In this paper, STAP proposes a typology or classification of adaptation benefits to clarify the intended outcomes of a project and/or a portfolio of projects. Adaptation rationales constructed on this shared foundation allow institutions to recognize and avoid piecemeal and duplicative adaptation portfolios and, instead, support enduring and coherent adaptation approaches that benefit people and the environment.